The latest entry in the polycephalic Carcharodon carry-on opens with a decidedly mono-mouthed shark swimming through the ocean. *rings trade descriptions*
Oh wait, it’s a fake-out. It’s actually just a regular great white; a snack for the real monster… *starts to put phone down*
…which has four heads??? *snatches up phone again*
Once again, the production values have edged up a notch over the previous instalment. With no money frittered away on a big-name guest star this time out, there’s more cash to splash on making the shark look half-way decent. It’s a shame, therefore that for most of the movie, it delivers 20% less heads than it promises.
When a photographer and his models are attacked and killed in shark attack on their yacht, his recovered camera hints at a multi-headed monster terrorising the waters around Puerto Rico. Its up to a bunch of unremarkable characters to board their boats and lean out unwisely over the edge every so often in an attempt to catch or kill the creature.
Given the title and lineage of this movie, there’s little need to be coy anymore so the shark appears early and often, multiply munching its way through the forgettable cast until it hits the required runtime and it can be blown up. So far so routine. That the shark spends so much of the movie with just four heads is just plain weird, especially as “3-Headed Shark Attack” ended with a genuinely 5-headed shark after Machete’s Fail Hydra moment. When the shark finally rears its fifth head, that’s literally what it does as its caudal fin abruptly and arbitrarily becomes a fifth head (yet doesn’t impede its ability to swim at all). So with four heads in the front and one in the rear, you may be asking where does the shark shit come out of? The answer is The Asylum’s writer’s room.
Aside from the eponymous multi-mouthed monster, “5-Headed Shark Attack” is a dispiritingly generic bad shark movie. Stepping away from the adult nudity of the previous franchise entries, this one is firmly back to the tame titillation of using bikini-clad models for the penta-jawed behemoth. The big effects set pieces are balanced by a lot of scenes of the cast standing around in big dialogue-heavy scenes, something they’re not that great at by the way. It’s so very, very talky and so very, very stupid. It’s also pretty boring as it slouches through a lazy tick box of bad shark movie tropes without wit or even enthusiasm. Initial multi-kill? Check. Sceptical authorities? Check. Improbable helicopter attack? Check *Yawn*
What started as a daft but fun monster multiplier has, over the course of three movies, become a tiresome cliché which shows no signs of stopping or, indeed, self-awareness. There’s already another instalment: “6-Headed Shark Attack” but we can only hope that one day we’ll get the full Ouroboric Shark Attack and this franchise will eat itself.